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EducationReport Urges Support for Students in Schools with Unsafe Concrete During Exams
The issue of schools with unsafe concrete, specifically the Raac, has created a significant impact on students’ education, particularly during examination periods. The Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust has highlighted the challenges faced due to the lack of provisions within the examination system for schools in this unique situation. The trust emphasized the need for additional consideration outside the current framework to support students amid these challenging circumstances.

Minimal Extensions to Coursework

The trust revealed the minimal extensions to coursework received and emphasized the necessity for additional support. Nick Hurn, the chief executive of the trust, expressed concern over the stance taken by the Department for Education (DfE), Ofqual, and JCQ, stating that the current framework’s limitations are not credible and just. This reflects the pressing need for a more comprehensive approach to address the adverse effects of Raac on students’ exam chances.

Irrefutable Evidence of Severe Impact

The chief executive pointed out the irrefutable evidence of the severe impact on children’s exam chances due to the Raac situation. The disruption caused by this issue, particularly in comparison to the challenges faced after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights the urgency of addressing the concerns raised by the trust.

Intervention and Disruptive Impact

The report emphasized that ministerial intervention was necessitated when the Covid-19 pandemic affected education; however, the Raac situation is deemed far more disruptive, thereby warranting immediate attention and remedial measures.

Fair and Appropriate Consideration

While acknowledging the unlikelihood of teachers assessing grades, as witnessed during the cancellation of exams in 2020 and 2021, the trust advocated for a fair and appropriate level of consideration to mitigate the impact of the Raac situation on students.
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Seeking Genuine Commitments

Mary Kelly Foy, Labour MP for City of Durham, voiced the need for genuine commitments from ministers to address the severity of the situation. The failure of the DfE, Ofqual, and examination boards to grasp the gravity of the issue was highlighted as a catastrophic failure, necessitating urgent action and accountability.

Rebuilding and Continued Growth

The report revealed plans for the demolition of unsafe buildings at St Leonard’s, with subsequent rebuilding work expected to take time. Moreover, the government list confirmed 231 schools in England with Raac, and the potential for further additions to the list underscores the need for proactive and systematic measures to address this widespread issue.

Impact on Educational Spaces

The impact of Raac on students extends beyond examination challenges, as some schools have reported limited access to design and technology work rooms, laboratories, and other essential spaces since September. This underscores the pervasive nature of the issue, influencing various aspects of students’ educational experiences.

Effect on Different Subjects

Prof Stephen Gorard, one of the report’s authors, emphasized the influence on practical and lab-based subjects, underscoring the need for targeted support in these areas. Additionally, the impact on subjects such as English literature due to the inability to access planned teaching materials highlights the comprehensive effects of Raac on students’ learning experiences.


In conclusion, the report on support for students in schools with unsafe concrete during exams underscores the pressing need for a multifaceted approach to address the challenges faced by students and educational institutions. The urgency of the situation, coupled with the far-reaching impact on various educational domains, necessitates proactive measures, genuine commitments from stakeholders, and a comprehensive framework to provide equitable support and mitigate the adverse effects of unsafe concrete on students’ academic endeavors.
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This article serves to bring attention to the critical issues outlined in the report and advocates for concerted efforts to safeguard students’ educational experiences in the face of such challenges. It is imperative to prioritize the well-being and academic success of students by addressing the underlying issues and implementing effective solutions to support them during examination periods and beyond.
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